26 Feb 2024

Candidates confirmed for Penrhyn Island by-election

3:32 pm on 26 February 2024
Penrhyn Island

Penrhyn Island in the Cook Islands. Photo: Ewan Smith

Four candidates, including the wife of the former deputy prime minister, are running in the Penrhyn Island by-election next month.

Robert Tapaitau's wife, Sarakura Tapaitau is running as an independent against the Cook Islands Party's Vaine Wichman, Democratic Party's Meremere Arake Tonitara and independent Tangata Andrew Vaeau.

With a population of just over 200, Penrhyn Island residents will take to the polls on the 12 March.

Advance voting for residents in Rarotonga opens on Tuesday 27 February, Cook Islands times (Wednesday NZ time).

The seat was previously held by Tapaitau who was removed following a corruption charge late last month.

Tapaitau was originally voted in as an independent candidate in 2018 and backed the Cook Islands Party in the 2022 elections.